Tag Archives: Graphics

Overlays, Good or bad?

An overlay is a great way to display to your community different things that you want to achieve ie: A sub goal, Tip goal, Follower goal, Top tippers and anything of that nature as well. You can even display most recent followers if you wish too. As simple as it sounds there can be a right way and a very wrong way to do this as well. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when you decide to add an overlay to your stream.

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Should I get an overlay?
This should be the 1st question you ask because there are certain circumstances where you will not be able to use an overlay. IE: if you stream from console and DO NOT use a capture card then it will be harder/not possible to use an overlay. I have been told that if you use a console and stream directly from there to Twitch or whatever platform, that if you use the remote play feature or do it through a computer then you should be able to use an overlay. Personally, I have no idea how to use that as I never needed to but apparently it is possible. I used to have an overlay when I did use a capture card though. This is because it runs through OBS and you are able to add the file/image to your scenes. If you stream through a computer then you will have no problem adding an overlay to your streams to make them a bit more personal as well too! I personally never got one until I was on a PC/Capture card. If you are in a position where you are unable to have an overlay, that is totally okay too! You will be able to add one eventually as you continue to progress in your journey!

*** If you are someone who is really enjoying the blogs and has the financial freedom to want to support this through tips, you are more than welcome to do so by clicking on this link to bring you to my personal Ko-Fi page. Never will you ever be pressured to support in this way however the option is there if you wish to do so! Your continued support regardless of financial or not is greatly appreciated.

What is an Overlay?
An overlay is any type of information or design that you want to display on your stream. In order to do so you need to either be using a capture card or streaming from a PC. Some streamers have different scenes where their overlay displays chat, or the top donators or subscribers and things as well. It really depends on what you are looking to show to your community in your stream as far as how you would like this to be shown. If you wanted you could also display certain types of goals you might have for your channel as well too. It really depends on what you are looking for as a streamer! For myself, I sometimes show the subscriber goals that I have when trying to save for certain things, I also try to show things like followers sometimes. I also have a chat overlay as well sometimes depending on the scene that I am using too.

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How can I get an overlay?
There are places where you can get a pre-designed overlay. This would be the quickest and one of the easiest ways to get one. Another more expensive way would be to commission a graphic designer and ask them to do a one of a kind overlay for you. Keep in mind if you want all the “Bells and whistles” then it will cost some money to get done. I always say when looking for ANY type of graphics it can be extremely helpful for the artists if you have somewhat of an idea. Even knowing which colors you would like on there is a huge help! And if not, that is also okay since your artist should be able to articulate your idea’s for you if you have trouble.

My Overlay
When I decided I wanted to do a little revamp, an overlay was something that I wanted. I knew I wanted it to be simple and I knew I wanted it to be timeless. I asked for my name “StaySeeJ” to be on there and I dropped the 08. Why? Because eventually if I got to the point I wanted a name change I would be dropping the 08 if it was possible. Spoiler alert: Fast forward to now, and I have actually dropped the 08 from my name which is great I thought ahead and am able to continue to use the same overlay! And I felt this was going to be cleaner without the number too. My colors that I liked was blues and white/black. The whole point was to have it slick and clean looking. I wanted it to be very minimal at the top of my screen and that’s how mine was done! Its simple, customizable and easy to add to any streaming software. I have also added through Streamlabs the different information that I wanted at the top. ie: Sub count, Sub Goal, Top Bits, Recent follower, Recent sub. The best part is that if I want to change out the displays I just need to add text and find the different spot in Streamlabs to get it done!

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DON’Ts of Overlays
– Don’t make your overlay too cluttered. People are either watching your stream for yourself or game play. Nothing is more annoying when you click a stream and 75% of their screen is filled with different alerts, text, logos and many other things. Its cool to display things but making your overlay look like a collage board from school is not the way to do it. It also can be very distracting to what you maybe trying to portray. If you are a great Apex player and all everyone see’s is your logos and things flashing on the screen it will make it incredibly hard for anyone to really focus on what it is you want to people to focus on.

– Don’t make donation goals the center of your overlays. Though I think it can be important to showcase a tip goal for your community I don’t think making it the most important thing is going to do a lot of good for people wanting to help out. If you do have one on your overlay make sure you STRESS the importance of your viewers simply being there instead of making them seem like your only goal is to get their money. When streamers talk about money as their goal it can really put a damper on things especially if people in the chat are unable to financially support your stream.

And lastly, As I have mentioned with lots of other posts. Be careful who you get to commission your work! Make sure you do your research before putting your trust into another person. Word of mouth when it comes to designers is a huge way to see how they are and if they are worth your time and money. If someone is known for copying other artists or not getting back in a timely fashion then they may not be worth you giving your ideas to. If you aren’t sure with what you want and are not in a rush post on your twitter, discord, ask in streams, or even check reviews if a person has an online portfolio in order to make sure you choose the right person for you! Go with your gut too, If you have a feeling that the person may not deliver what you expect then don’t go with them! This is something for YOU to showcase your brand and you shouldn’t take anything but the best for that!

Connecting with followers outside of streaming

Connecting with your community outside of streaming is so much more than just posting in a discord server an hour before you stream. There are many ways you can connect with your community without having to be live. That being said, you don’t have to just open all of your DM’s up in order to be connected with your community!

Social medias is a great way to connect with your followers and community. Chances are if people are connecting on those platforms they are helping your reach as well too. There are some folks who will be die hard dedicated to connecting on socials and will like/share/retweet all of your stuff! Even commenting on posts as well too. In order to really connect, (provided you dont have hundred and hundreds of people commenting) reply or like every single one of these responses! Seriously. A little interaction goes a long way. I know for me, I follow a dude from Sweden named Orb. He is one of the most connected people to his community. He connects on twitter and Instagram, he likes replies and comments back. He is able to do this and as a viewer it makes you feel important because the person you are following and interested in is showing  you are significant. Like you aren’t just a viewer to them. Not all streamers are like this but Orb is great for really showing he appreciates his viewers and community!

Discords is one of the best ways to connect with your community on AND off streams. Whether you are commenting in the morning or commenting after you are live, or even just jumping in to conversations it is a great way to bring the community together even by having viewers and viewers chatting together! the more active a discord is and the more involved you are, the stronger the connection grows. If you create a safe space with you viewers then you will see more people want to stick around because they have made friends with the people in there. I know sometimes I cant always make streams, But I will check in their discord server in the morning, See if the streamer said anything important and connect with the community. When you really get into a community and connect they become more like family than friends. You all talk about your lives as a place to vent or talk about popular topics and the latest news. Especially if everyone is from different countries around the world too. look at the Covid Crisis, How different different places around the world are handling the situation!

Playing with viewers is a popular and easy way to build a stronger community. There are a first ways to do this successfully. You can do it by playing with subscribers first, that is something people who have an establish community do so that subscribers can have another perk. If you are smaller and growing  this might deter people from wanting to watch you and give the appearance that you are just in it for money. For me, I dont mind playing with viewers/subscribers and am actually in the process of bringing back designated days for this! However using a mic for voice communications can be the question. I know some streamers who don’t use ANY voice comms, one is for fear that a person will say something on their stream like dropping the N-bomb or whatever else. Another stream who doesn’t use voice comms but this is because they have sooooo many viewers that it could get hectic. Then there is another streamer who uses voice comms in any game possible with their viewers since most people are subscribers and know that there are some things you just don’t say. For me, I use voice comms with friends and regulars. If it is someone who is in the stream for the first time chances are I’m not going to be using voice comms just in case. Some people can be jerks and try to say things negatively over a stream.

Community days are a super fun way to get a bunch of folks together. Another thing that ties into viewer games. I have seen some streamers do them on stream and others who have done them off. This is where they just hang out in discord and play games or they stream. I would suggest, If you ware playing with a bigger streamer/partner streamer.. and you MUST stream, Then it may be wise to have your push to talk on. Nothing is more annoying then hearing someone play with a partner streamer and be talking to their couple of viewers. Have some respect! For me, if I’m playing with a few partners that i watch and do viewer games I don’t normally stream while playing with them. I want to really focus on games and have a fun time! Also, it looks SUPER annoying and cringe-y if you are playing with a partner/much bigger streamer and you change your stream title as a touch of click bait like “Playing games with XXX” because it looks like you are using that person in order to get clicks or views on your stream.

Movie Nights is something I  offer to subscribers once a month and I’m part of a community that also does them once a month. However with Corona Virus I have seen people also opening up to Discord Movie nights. Something I may look at getting into but I’m not entirely sure I was thinking about putting it up to a vote on twitter actually! This is when they use a streaming service like Kast or even discord streaming because they have upped the participants and how many can watch. I would only say don’t do this too often or it might lost it’s appeal but once a month is a great time to do it! I know some streamers mute their mics during this time (My preferred method!) and they have a text channel and then another who just has open mics/push to talk and they talk during the movie. This is another fun way and once you get into the habit you’re viewers will really enjoy and look forward to. you can even vote on different movies or subjects as well to get the community more involved!

As you can see there is many ways to connect with your community outside of streaming. Find out what works for you and look at what other channels are doing also! Do what you feel comfortable with and watch how your once divided or quiet community could become busy and exciting!

-StaySeeJ08

420, A stoned blog post!

As many of you know, I do smoke weed. Call me a hypocrite though as I’m writing this on April 13th and I am in fact not stoned as it is 12:30pm. I don’t normally smoke during the day through the week Monday-Friday only in the evenings and I do write these out to be scheduled in order to save time! Not to mention, if I schedule them I am able to not miss out on a week too! Being a new mom takes responsibility and I cannot be high all day every day like I was when before I was pregnant. Before I had become pregnant with my son and weed became legal in Canada I was smoking weed any chance I got! After school, wake and bake on the weekend, and all night and day long! It was easy when you didn’t have to look after a tiny human that’s for sure! Here is my take on weed, and if it is legal where you are, enjoy a toke too!

I first started smoking weed when I was 16 years old. The second time I smoked it in fact, I nearly got caught! I was over at a friends house and his uncle was the husband to my moms friend. Needless to say he basically called us out and I had to lie to my mom saying that I was not smoking weed at all. And after that I just had to be more careful when it came to getting high! I probably did a lot of stupid things too though. My best friend and I used to say we would go to the store. We never did. We would bring wrappers of candy and use those and tell my parents or hers that we ate the candy on the way home. What we actually did was go to the woods up from my house along the path and smoke weed. Rain or shine we were there, no joke! Not to mention the countless hot boxes and Jamaican rains that have been done over the years also too!

Now as most think, or seen to think, weed is as you would expect anything to be that is “drug” related to be controversial. Here where I live, in Canada, Weed is legal everywhere as long as you are of age in the province where you live. Though there is debate to raise the age to 21 due to the fact that weed effects the growing brain and in teenagers the brain does not stop growing til you are above the age of 20 or so. Which I can understand why it is such a taboo subject.

As someone who does smoke weed regularly except for the odd times when I would go a month or two without smoking (And of course, I never smoked when I became pregnant with my son!) I am a firm believer that weed should be treated just as alcohol. You should be of age and you also should be responsible as well. No driving or whatever you wouldn’t do while drinking. Responsibility is key when consuming these type of things as well too. I think as far as Canada is there seems to be not a MAJOR rise in weed related offenses in the eyes of the law as well. Which I think is a good thing.

For me personally, I prefer smoking weed over drinking. Not that there is anything wrong with either if done in moderation of course however for some reason smoking a joint has just appealed to me way more then getting drunk off my face. Maybe it is because |I feel like I am in more control when I smoke weed (Don’t let that confuse you with thinking that I feel like I am invincible!). The way I see it is this. If I smoke a joint at 4pm, Relax and hang out, by 10pm or so I should be good enough to go anywhere if I wanted to, ie maybe drive home from a friends or maybe to the store or whatever. If I was to start drinking at 4pm I really can only have ONE drink and that means basically nothing because I wont be able to catch a buzz, and anything more I wont risk at all due to the fact if I am pulled over and asked to take a roadside sobriety test then I could be in very deep crap!

That being said, I wasn’t always making smart decisions. When I was a teenager (Like most!) I would drive around with friends as we smoked weed. I never had my license but would be a trusted shot gun comfort. Sure looking back that was an extremely stupid thing to do. Was there a lot of Red Flag” moments? Of course there was! Would I change it? Possibly. But it was fun none the less and I would probably be upset if my own kid was doing the same thing when he grows older! As my mom always said, Do as I say not as I do.

Weed was probably something that helped me to connect with a group of people not to mention when I was a teenager it probably helped me stay sane while I was in an abusive relationship too. Though weed was also one of the many reasons we fought it also was something I used to connect with friends and what not too.

I guess what I am trying to say is don’t be stupid if you wish to smoke weed. Enjoy the art of what it is to get high and embrace the journey you are about to take and create some memories! And if you don’t agree with that, It is okay too!

Before I end this wacky and fun to write blog post Ill leave you with this, when I was in college there was a girl who had a saying on her Facebook page. And I firmly believe it. “Weed, For making the bad times good, And the good times better!”

-StaySeeJ08